Yeah, it’s been a long time, as Robert Plant would say, but I’m finally back in the pages of Modern Drummer magazine with a full page profile piece on the uber cool John Boecklin, who plays the drums for Devil Driver. Jon Fishman of Phish graces the cover of the September issue, on sale everywhere Tuesday August 3rd.
Chris “Daddy” Dave graces the cover of the February issue of Modern Drummer, inside whose pages you’ll find my profile on wunderkind drummer Steven Spence of heavy metal band Black Tide. Out to Subscribers now, on sale in your favorite vendor of periodicals next week!
Hey kids, can you believe it’s almost Halloween? The end of October means it’s also time for the December issue of Modern Drummer magazine to be arriving it the homes of all subscribers. This issue features a cover story on father and son drummers Max and Jay Weinberg, of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. And I have a profile on Blake Dixon of rock band Saving Abel. If you’re not a subscriber you can pick up the December issue on newsstands starting the first week of November!
I’m always surprised by how quickly the end of the month arrives and I find the latest issue of Modern Drummer tucked neatly into my mail box. Like last month, October – graced by Jazz master Jeff “Tain” Watts on the cover – is another great issue where you will find my by-line on three fantastic articles! This month I talk with 311’s Chad Sexton, Vinnie Appice of Heaven & Hell / Black Sabbath, and Robb Reiner of Anvil – a metal drumming legend who’s enjoyed such an amazing year with the runaway success of the must-see documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! Out to subscribers this week, be sure to pick up your very own copy when it hits newsstands the first week of September!
Me with Robb Reiner of Anvil
When I am not bogging about Gay Ice Cream Trucks or Dead Rock Stars Birthdays, I am all about interviewing the Drummers. Because that is how I roll. In the August issue of Modern Drummer (Tre Cool of Green Day on the cover), you’ll find a lovely little chat I had with drummer Jeff Friedl of Ashes Divide and Puscifer. Jeff brings the radness home.
The April issue of Modern Drummer is all about Mitch Mitchell, the legendary drummer with the Jimi Hendrix Experience who passed away last November. In this issue you’ll also find my extensive feature with mathcore drumming genius Blake Richardson of Between the Buried & Me, as well as an update with Josh Garza of NYC’s own Secret Machines – one of my favorite bands! It really is a fantastic issue. Out to subscribers this week, you can pick up the April Modern Drummer on Newsstands next Tuesday, March 3rd.
Me and Bill at the Modern Drummer Hang, 2006, at the Cutting Room NYC
Last weekend I was in a Duane Reade buying a “Get Well” card for my friend Bill Miller. Yesterday I was buying a condolence card for his wife. Bill, who was my editor at Modern Drummer for over ten years, passed away Friday night after a five year battle with Cancer. Bill had been very private about his illness and, even though a friend of mine at the magazine confided in me recently that Bill was back in the hospital and “probably not going to make it,” he really didn’t want anyone to know how sick he was. I’m so grateful that I had the chance to send that final card to Bill, because I know he got to read it before he passed, so at least he knew I was thinking of him. Just a few weeks ago we’d been on the phone discussing a feature he’d assigned me. I can’t believe he’s gone.
I started writing for Modern Drummer in 1997, after I cold pitched Bill on Johnny Kelly, the drummer for Type O Negative. I’d never written for a technical magazine before and didn’t know much about drums at the time except that they were round things that guys hit with sticks. But Bill and I had an immediate bond, and he assigned me short, a front-of-the-book piece about Johnny Kelly “on spec,” which I was overjoyed to do. I couldn’t believe I was getting a chance to get my foot in the door of a magazine like Modern Drummer. Bill will never know how much I sweated those 350 words, but he liked the piece enough to run it, and he continued to give me regular assignments for the magazine for the next eleven years.
Bill was just a fantastic person. He was not only an exceptional editor; he was a very good friend. Bill was always so receptive to my pitches (more than few times he let me write about personal friends who were drummers) and was consistently complimentary and encouraging about my work. And even though he asked me to rewrite pieces on a few occasions, it’s only because his standards for the magazine were so high, and his critical eye made me step up as a writer. Thanks to Bill I’ve had the opportunity to interview such fantastic musicians and wonderful people in my time writing for MD, and I have made more good friends than I can count. I owe him so much. I am sure that before he went he knew how much he was loved by everyone who knew him. Goodbye, Bill. I will miss you forever.
The highly innovative Gavin Harrison of hallucination-inducing Prog Rockers Porcupine Tree is on the cover story of the January 2009 issue of Modern Drummer magazine. Inside you’ll also find my brain-dazzling updates on Pat Wilson of Weezer and Sean Davidson of LA metal band, Black List Union.